HIGH POINT, N.C. — "I was told that it takes 3 years for anybody to know who you are in the real estate energy," Heather Brooks, a real estate agent in High Point, said. "I was 25. I said I don't have three years. I have 3 children, so I took all the money that I had and put it into different marketing segments."
Heather Brooks says her first client in 2004 found her ad in the local paper, but when she got the call, the unthinkable happened.
"I was outside in my pajamas, slippers, children, my mom was in town and my house was burning to the ground and I was covering the phone up and talking with this potential client on how well I could market their home as my house was burning down," Brooks said.
A wild career start for Brooks was just the beginning of more unexpected obstacles.
"Being a woman, a lot of women don't want to work with you, and the older I get, the less that it matters," Brooks said. "When I was younger, it was a bigger issue. Couples would rather work with a man."
Brooks said she will never forget her first clients and is grateful for the hundreds of others who've trusted her over the last two decades.
"A lot of people don't have money saved up, their credit is not good," Brooks said. "There is always an obstacle and when you can bridge the gaps and remove those obstacles and people can see what they wanted to do come to fruition-- it's pretty exciting."
Of all the math, marketing, and property knowledge, Brooks learned in real estate school. She says the best advice: find a niche and tie it into your business.
"If you are an orchid grower, become involved with a group of orchid growers and then expand that into your real estate business," Brooks said.